Finally, unable to tolerate the way Jamie is looking at her, she asks him angrily why he is doing it.
Mary and Cathleen return home from their drive to the drugstore, where Mary has sent Cathleen in to purchase her morphine prescription. Not wanting to be alone, Mary does not allow Cathleen to go to the kitchen to finish dinner and offers her a drink instead. Mary does most of the talking and discusses her love for fog but her hatred of the foghorn, and her husband's obvious obsession with money.
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Mary has already taken some of her "prescription". She talks about her past in a Catholic convent and the promise she once had as a pianist and the fact that it was once thought that she might become a nun.
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She also makes it clear that while she fell in love with her husband from the time she met him, she had never taken to the theatre crowd. She shows her arthritic hands to Cathleen and explains that the pain is why she needs her prescription — an explanation which is untrue and transparent to Cathleen. When Mary dozes off under the influence of the morphine, Cathleen exits to prepare dinner.
Mary awakes and begins to have bitter memories about how much she loved her life before she met her husband. She also decides that her prayers as an addict are not being heard by the Virgin and decides to go upstairs to get more drugs, but before she can Edmund and James Sr. Although both men are drunk, they both realize that Mary is back on morphine, although she attempts to act as if she is not. Jamie has not returned home, but has elected instead to continue drinking and to visit the local whorehouse.
After calling Jamie a "hopeless failure" Mary warns that his bad influence will drag his brother down as well. After seeing the condition that his wife is in, James expresses the regret that he bothered to come home, and he attempts to ignore her as she continues her remarks, which include blaming him for Jamie's drinking. Then, as often happens in the play, Mary and James try to get over their animosity and attempt to express their love for one another by remembering happier days. When James goes to the basement to get another bottle of whiskey, Mary continues to talk with Edmund.
When Edmund reveals that he has consumption, Mary refuses to believe it, and attempts to discredit Dr. Hardy, due to her inability to face the reality and severity of the situation. She accuses Edmund of attempting to get more attention by blowing everything out of proportion. In retaliation, Edmund reminds his mother that her own father died of consumption, and then, before exiting, he adds how difficult it is to have a "dope fiend for a mother.
When James comes back with more alcohol he notes that there was evidence that Jamie had attempted to pick the locks to the whiskey cabinet in the cellar, as he has done before. Mary ignores this and bursts out that she is afraid that Edmund is going to die. She also confides to James that Edmund does not love her because of her drug problem. When James attempts to console her, Mary again rues having given birth to Edmund, who appears to have been conceived to replace a baby they had lost before Edmund's birth.
When Cathleen announces dinner, Mary indicates that she is not hungry and is going to bed. James goes in to dinner all alone, knowing that Mary is really going upstairs to get more drugs. Edmund returns home to find his father playing solitaire. While the two argue and drink, they also have an intimate, tender conversation.
James explains his stinginess, and also reveals that he ruined his career by staying in an acting job for money. After so many years playing the same part, he lost his talent for versatility. Edmund talks to his father about sailing and of his aspiration to become a great writer one day. They hear Jamie coming home drunk, and James leaves to avoid fighting. Jamie and Edmund converse, and Jamie confesses that although he loves Edmund more than anyone else, he again ambiguously lashes out at his father calling on him to fail.
Jamie passes out. When James returns, Jamie wakes up, and they quarrel anew. Mary, lost in her drug-laden dreams of the past, comes downstairs. Holding her wedding gown, she babbles incoherently about her convent days and falling in love with James, while her husband and sons silently watch her. O'Neill finished revising the manuscript into its final version in March O'Neill did not copyright the play. In he had a sealed copy of the manuscript placed in the document vault of publisher Random House , instructing that it not be published until 25 years after his death.
He sent a second sealed copy to the O'Neill collection at Yale University. In key aspects, the play closely parallels Eugene O'Neill's own life.
The location, a summer home in Connecticut, corresponds to the family home, Monte Cristo Cottage , in New London, Connecticut the small town of the play. The actual cottage, today owned and operated by the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center , is made up as it may appear in the play. The names of the second and third sons are reversed, "Eugene" with "Edmund". In fact, Eugene, the playwright, was the third and the youngest child, and he corresponds to the character of "Edmund" in the play. The ages are all the actual ages of the O'Neill family in August Eugene O'Neill's father, James O'Neill , was a promising young actor in his youth, as was the father in the play.
He also shared the stage with Edwin Booth , who is mentioned in the play. James O'Neill achieved commercial success in the title role of Dumas ' The Count of Monte Cristo , playing the title role about 6, times; he was criticized for " selling out " for commercial success at the expense of artistic merit.
Subsequent to the date when the play is set , but prior to the play's writing —42 , Eugene's older brother Jamie did drink himself to death c. Regarding O'Neill himself, by he had attended a renowned university Princeton , spent several years at sea, and suffered from depression and alcoholism, and did contribute to the local newspaper, the New London Telegraph, writing poetry as well as reporting.
He did go to a sanatorium in —13 due to suffering from tuberculosis consumption , whereupon he devoted himself to playwriting. The events in the play are thus set immediately prior to O'Neill beginning his career in earnest. The premiere and production were very successful, and the directing and acting critically acclaimed. The movie was directed by Sidney Lumet.
Hepburn's performance later drew a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Olivier won a Best Actor Emmy Award for this performance. The same cast had previously performed the play at Canada's Stratford Festival ; Wellington essentially filmed the stage production without significant changes.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Long Day's Journey into Night disambiguation. O'Neill: Life with Monte Cristo. New York: Applause Books. Retrieved 13 October At Random. New York: Random House. The American Stage of Today. New York, New York: P.
Retrieved Retrieved 19 December Style Weekly , September 15, Eugene O'Neill. Ah, Wilderness! Awards for Long Day's Journey into Night. Laurence Olivier Award for Best Revival. So I began to read it at night, as I listened out for any body getting up out of his bed. Thankfully, it was a long book, and it sucked me into this whole different world far from the one I was living in.
On a cold, wet Nashville night, I was in the dry, hot outback. We had a certain amount of money where we could take them out to eat once a week. People sat upright when they saw us coming in—guys with flailing arms and lolling tongues, the one who, when he got nervous, just pulled his dingdong constantly.
One time, after not getting to eat and running around the table sweating, helping feed each guy and wipe his face and hands, an older couple came up to me and shook my hand. Our daughter did this for a while.
The heartbreak of the story gutted me. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.